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Folsom woman creates online database to connect seniors with a place to live

Folsom-based company unveils tool to find senior living
Folsom-based company unveils tool to find senior living 03:15

FOLSOM — An online database is connecting seniors with their ideal place to live. Founded by a Folsom woman, Purple Door Finders is saving families time and headache during the emotional transition period of moving a loved one into a senior living community.

Every day in the United States, around 10,000 people turn 65-years-old, and what experts call a silver tsunami is on its way. By 2035 more people in the U.S. will be over the age of 65 than under the age of 18. To keep up with demand, it's anticipated there will be a sharp increase in the number of senior living communities across the nation, and a Folsom woman is trying to connect seniors with a place they're comfortable calling home.

"I don't know where I'm going yet. I'd like to stay in this area, but I don't know that's going to be available because there's only so many beds," says senior Glenda Takhar.

CBS13 connected with Takhar in January after getting news that her senior living community in Turlock is shutting down and she'd have to find somewhere else to go. The problem is that she doesn't have any family and keeps getting put on waiting list after waiting list.

An online database could change that.

"This scenario is why we built Purple Door," says Purple Door Finders founder Christina Bremner.

Bremner is a former marketing director for senior living in Folsom.

"I saw that when residents, seniors, had a crisis they had a lot of difficulty finding a community to move into and more importantly finding a community that had a vacancy," Bremner said.

Purple Door Finders is a nationwide search tool that allows families and seniors to search for current vacancies and shop and compare facilities that will fit unique needs.

"What we're trying to do is bring accessibility. Not just have access to information on a database, [but] to be aware that there are options that would best fit the senior's needs," said Jen Lee, Purple Door Finders' chief strategy officer.

"We tried googling and we couldn't really find anything, but when we went to Purple Door Finders, it showed right away. Clicked on a tour and we got a response from them in a couple of hours," said site user Chuck Thompson.

Chuck and Conni Thompson wanted to find a senior living community that would best align with Chuck's Japanese mother.

"Finding something rather quickly that would fit her cultural needs was really important to us," Conni said.

They say it's a whole different story from when they were finding somewhere for Conni's mother to live a few years back before Purple Door existed.

"Boy, was it frustrating. We had to drive around, look up addresses, request a tour," the Thompsons said. "How much time did we spend looking for your mom? Weeks and lots of miles of driving hours of driving yikes."

That is something Purple Door Finders eliminated during a sensitive time.

"Now we can empower seniors to live their best lives," Lee said. "You've put in your work and raised families, and now you get to enjoy it. It's finding the best fit for the senior's needs."

Finding a living community for Conni's mother took weeks, but when they used Purple Door Finders for Chuck's mother, they found a place within a matter of days. Bremner has been in contact with Takhar to see if they can find her a good fit. We'll keep you updated on what happens there.

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